How Dog Dental Washes Work

Better canine dental health can begin with the water bowl.

A dog may never achieve perfectly fresh breath, but if his mouth odor is bad enough to make you gag, he may have a more serious problem going on in there! Terrible dog breath is the main sign of early dental disease, which can lead to myriad health issues if left untreated. Adding dental washes to your dog’s water bowl can help remedy bad breath and its causes. Similar to human mouthwash, dog dental washes kill bacteria and fungus, and reduce plaque. They are more effective than brushing at getting to hard-to-reach parts of a dog’s mouth, and since most pups start to show signs of periodontal disease around age three, the time to start washing is now.

Add 1 teaspoon to 8 ounces of H2O daily to improve the cleanliness and well-being of your pup’s mouth. Petlab Co.

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Although the ingredients in dog dental washes vary, most of them provide specific functions. Sodium hexametaphosphate, for instance, reduces and prevents staining. Meanwhile, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate help regulate the pH of saliva, which can cause tooth decay if it goes too low or too high. They all work in tandem to produce stronger teeth and fresher breath in man’s best friend.

This fast-acting formula can also freshen kitties’ mouths. Oxyfresh

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Some dental washes may have a slightly sweet taste, from a sugar alcohol called xylitol, which some studies suggest may help kill bacteria that cause gum disease. But if you worry that your finicky pet will refuse their strange new water, look for a formula without xylitol that is tasteless.

One capful in a 16-ounce bowl can provide up to 12 hours of protection. TropiClean

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A good wash shouldn’t be the only element of a dog’s dental care. It can be used with oral gels and dental chews for enhanced effectiveness. While these combined can replace daily brushings, you should still have your dog’s teeth and gums checked at least once a year by a veterinarian.